So your Office is your home

We are now in the work-from-home work culture, where businesses allow their employees to work from their homes on their beds wearing their pajamas and just go online for a certain period of time. In this article, we will tackle the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of work culture.

Advantages

1. More Freedom

By working from home, you can have much freedom in terms of scheduling your own time—organizing how much time you’re going to work, to rest, to spend with your family, to play and to go off on breaks. In doing all non-work activities, you don’t have your boss raising an eyebrow on you. You can work at your kitchen counter, coffee table, bed and wherever inside the house without feeling troubled about how orderly or office-like the work space is.

2. No Transportation Expenses

Because you’re staying around the four walls of your home, you don’t need to take any public transportation, drive your automobile and beat the early morning traffic at the expense of going to the workplace. Time and effort in commuting are saved and these could better be spent doing more productive work.

3. More Comfort

As they say, “Home sweet home.” Your home is the most comfortable place in the entire universe. Because it’s yours, you are not required or bound to follow any rules as in the traditional workplace. You don’t have to worry about any dress code as well. You’re good to go, as long as you get your work done and satisfy your boss at the end of the day.

Disadvantages

1. No Motivation

When you have that much freedom at your disposal, you might be too tempted to not work for long. Sometimes, when you overly think that nobody would care about your work schedule anyway, you tend to procrastinate and be less effective in the long run. Given this, you need to find something to keep you motivated enough to get you up by your appointed time.

2. No Routine

By human nature, we are creatures of habit. Sometimes we may find routine jobs boring but routine keeps us sane. Without having a regular routine or schedule being opposed onto oneself at home, we might end up not completing the job and remain unfocused—baffled as to whether we can still expend any more minutes to play video games instead of accomplishing some load of paperwork.

3. Less Contact

Without personal contact with colleagues or office mates, we might feel alone and empty. No one would give us a boost when we’re isolated or stressed and we don’t have the right network that we can relate our problems with, despite that there’s social media and other online communication tools. In our professional life, without having a team that we can physically interact, we might turn up as introverts or people who prefer to work alone. There are bigger possibilities to feel depressed and less outgoing.

Company Supporting Work From Home

OutDesk specially enables all employees to work from home to do virtual assistance and telecommuting jobs. The domain is under real estate and workers are to engage with agents and potential clients whenever they have inquiries regarding the land, properties and packages. They are monitored in a span of the nine hours spent at work; their profile status should always be online and their responses are all recorded for employers to countercheck their performance later on. Workers’ Internet broadband speed, computer specifications, system requirements and workspace at home are verified before granting the job.

Pros and cons as mentioned above apply to them; adding to cons are that employees would need to pay for electricity bills and other utilities used up to do the job and they are not offered any other benefits and insurance except for the compensation itself.

When others hear that you’re working from home, the response would almost definitely be that they often dream about being the same. However, the truth is that working from home is not for all. To some who cannot manage their own time and space, this is not an easy way out from the typical day-to-day job but a nightmare.

If your office is your home, make sure that you’re able to stay concentrated on your tasks without much supervision from your employers or bosses. If in doubt, you might have dire consequences and put your job and your name at stake in the rocks.

Your thoughts?

Alexis Thompson

Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking

You can follow Alexis on Twitter here

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5 Responses to So your Office is your home

  1. Peter Watson June 2, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    I have been working from my home office for over 3 years and I can most definitely relate to some of the points raised in this article. The Pro’s definitely out weigh the Con’s, but it’s not all roses as suggested.

    The ‘human’ contact was something that was hard to get used to, but I over come this in time. Another negative that wasn’t raised here is ‘Peer pressures’ from friends and family.

    No matter how many times I tell them, they all seem to think I can drop what I am doing and simply tend to their needs. Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you can run errands for family and friends.

    Since working from home, I actually work more hours per week than I ever did working for an employee. It’s hard to switch off when your office is 5 seconds away.

  2. Stephen Neate June 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Having worked from home in two different industries (Travel & IT) since 1997 I can definitely vouch for the “work from home option”, especially with the advances in technology making it so easy to collaborate without the need to be always face to face with co-workers or clients.

    Some key points you should always live by regardless of whether you are self-employed or working for a company;

    1. Your home office needs be office like (desks and phones) not coffee tables and lounges, you are working from home but you are still working. Especially as having a phone system (even for just 2 or 3 lines) is so easy now. Don’t forget the message bank so you can turn your phones off/volumn off for outside of work hours.

    2. Ideally it needs to be a part of the house that you go to when you work (so not a part of the house you have to past every day, or at the very least can close off), you have to be feeling like you are going to work, although you may be sitting in boxer shorts, togs, dressing gown. This separation is imperative as otherwise you will always be checking (fax, email, phone messages, log files etc…) at all times of day when you are just walking by.

    3. Talk about work specifics in the office area only. Do not take your work elsewhere in the house or it will take over your life (and that of your families). Treat it like an office job, you can laugh about dumb shit requests from clients over dinner with your partner but that is the fun (non-specific) stuff you would do if you worked out of home.

    4. Train your friends and family so that they know you are working from home, not just sitting around playing Halo, Sims, BF3, COD etc…. in your undies and can be interrupted at any time.

    5. Train yourself. Don’t do all your laundry, house cleaning, mow the lawn when working from home (unless its outside of your normal work hours).

    6. Talk to your accountant about what you can legitimately claim for, and not just what you think you can.

    Only other point I would like to add is that with the changing world, having a home office, and having the infrastructure around your house, suburb, region should be at the forefront of every council (politician) in the country.

    Imagine the difference it would make to our road congestion, CBD parking and fuel consumption alone (ignoring dozens of other direct benefits) if every worker in the country worked 1 day per week from home, what if just 1% of all those workers could work all week from home just once a month.

  3. Naomi Twyford June 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Being a real estate agent AND a mum to 3 darlings, I love that I can work from home. Nothing like being able to throw on some washing, make some calls, pop the dinner on, make some more calls, vaccum & mop the floors, make some more calls 🙂

    My biggest con is sticking to a “turn off” time, its way too easy to think ïll just return that email (at 9.30 at night) to then walk back inside to see my house in complete disarray.

  4. Vanessa June 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Its true about the pros and cons. I work from home but find there’s more pro’s than con’s. It does take some time getting used to. Mainly being out of the office environment and the interaction with colleagues. But when you get used to it, I find a work a lot harder in a smaller amount of time.

    There are less distractions, meetings and interruptions so i can achieve the same goals in less time, giving me more freedom and less time wasted commuting. I have a dedicated office and when the doors shut, i’m at work.

    Though i do find myself on the computer at odd hours of the day “just fixing something” that can turn 5min into 2hours. Like right now – its 8:30pm on a Sunday. But i enjoy that flexibility in my hours.

    If anyone has the opportunity – give it a go! It is a bit lonely and hard to get started some days but you will find ways around that.

  5. Erin June 5, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    I work for a real estate group and in 2011 my mother developed cancer. She lives in another state and I was desperate to be closer to her as I felt helpless living so far away… I explained the situation and proposed to my employer that I trial doing the same job remotely, as the majority of my work is done over email/internet/phone. My employer was extremely obliging and sympathetic and allowed me to make the move.

    Agree there are pros and cons to working from home, also agree with Peter’s comments regarding family and friends needing to understand – because my partner sometimes expects I’ll do all the housework as I’m “home all the time”, lol, not fair! Stephen also makes a fair point that this is quite possibly the way of the future – I think governments should provide employers with incentives for doing this as there are obvious environmental improvements that could be made on the whole i.e. reducing traffic.

    The lack of face to face contact can get a bit lonely, but I do get lots of phone calls and have Skype meetings which keep me interacting with my colleagues. Generally my work load keeps me very busy, but I find I can get through a lot more than when I’m in the office as there aren’t as many distractions. I still have to work and be available to clients during set hours so I don’t have the disadvantage some self employed people may have of losing routine.

    I find I put in more hours than before, it’s very easy to work late or during time off… I can have a break when the office closes, take a walk and go back and finish those important tasks! I check my email regularly after hours, but I find I’m less stressed as a result.

    Working from home is DEFINITELY not for everyone! You need to be self-motivated, hard-working, loyal to your business and have the ability to work autonomously and meet deadlines – DELIVER.

    It was a huge leap of faith for my employers allowing me to work from home and I am extremely grateful to them. It makes me more dedicated and I try even harder in my role, as I want them to be sure they made the right decision!

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